Examples of Good and Bad Research Questions

Every research writing requires research questions. Your research questions are what guide you to keep researching. Note that the questions have to be tailored to your topic. In the beginning, you’ll require a problem statement about the topic; it’s the topic’s loophole.

Once you have the problem statement, develop research questions to help you write on the topic. Your research question is what drives your research and something within the field that must be provided.

So, when drafting research questions, ensure it guides your research. Because choosing the wrong research questions ruins the outcome of your work. This article covers everything about good and bad research topics.

How to choose research questions

Before choosing research questions, make sure you have a solid topic. There has to be a loophole in your area of research, which is what your research question helps you find solutions to. Here are steps to choosing a good research question:

  1. Choose a relevant topic

Your choice of topic has to be on point. When choosing a topic, ask yourself, what topic interests you? Which areas in this topic require more research? Also, make sure that the context you’ve chosen to base your topic on is of interest to people.

  1. Research the topic

During the research process, you begin to learn more about your topic. The more you learn, the more you realize angles that need to be addressed. Through research, you find a research problem.

  1. Narrow your topic down

After researching your topic, you’ve already started seeing a possible angle your research will take. Narrow your topic down to focus on a particular area.

  1. Identify the problem

Now that you’ve narrowed your topic down, you focus attention on an area and fish out issues within this research area. This is usually when the research problem comes up.

  1. Turn the problem into question

After finding your research problem, to dissect the problem, you’ll need to break it down into questions. For example, your research should be the “so what? now what?” question.

Characteristics of a good research question

Research questions can either be good or bad. A bad research question ruins the outcome of your research. So, you must be careful of your questions. Here are some of the features of a good research question:

  1. A good research question is focused and straight to the point
  2. A good research question targets and provides a solid answer to the problem
  3. Good research questions provide more depth into a topic
  4. Good research sets the context of the research
  5. It is grounded in current theoretical and empirical knowledge.

Research topic vs research question

Research topics are different from research questions. A research topic is a general area your research focuses on. It’s the context upon which you’ve based your research interest. On the other hand, research questions are formulated to solve the research problem.

Good research questions examples

Here are good sample research questions to consider:

  • How can government regulations help to provide free healthcare services for low-income earners?
  • What factors cause the increase in death rate during the first wave of Covid?
  • What strategies can be implemented to prevent drug abuse amongst teenagers
  • What effect does drug abuse have on underage young girls?
  • What measures can the government implement to mitigate sex trafficking in district x?

Examples of bad research questions

While there are good research questions, there are also bad ones. Bad research questions affect the outcome and quality of your research. Below are some bad research questions:

  • Why do low-income earners lack healthcare?
  • How did Covid kill many people?
  • Is drug abuse bad for teenagers?
  • Does drug abuse affect girls?
  • Is it possible to stop trafficking?

Why are these questions bad? They are bad because they are ineffective. What is ineffective about this research question? The questions are generalized; they are not specific and cannot be used to address any problem. The essence of a good research topic is that it points the arrow toward a core problem that needs to be addressed.


Bad research questions weaken the outcome of your research. Since the purpose of research is to draw attention to an area. The question has to be compelling enough to attract the attention of readers.

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